NAB 2017 Logo

RedShark's Dave Shapton Live on Teradek's NAB show
direct from the NAB show floor 9:30-10:00 Pacific / 17:30-18:00 London

05 Aug 2016

KRONOS I/O: Up to 8K 120fps HDR video over IP

  • Written by 
  • submit to reddit  
Bluefish444 KRONOS Bluefish444 KRONOS Bluefish444

Bluefish444 has announced a new product range of I/O cards that point to the future of video over IP.

It's easy enough to get a file off a computer. You don't need any special technology to do this. If it's a big file, it will take longer, but a file is a file, whether it's a spreadsheet or a 4K master of a feature film.

The same isn't true if you need to get a moving image from a computer onto a display device or any sort of real-time studio equipment. For this, you need an interface that will take the data from the computer and output it as a video signal.

Cards that do this have been around for decades, but as the quality and resolution of video improves, so must the computer interfaces that deal with the signals.

Time for KRONOS

Bluefish444 is well known for making video input and output cards that work at the highest quality. And now the company announced its latest generation of cards that support a wide range of extremely high resolutions, bit depths and frame rates.

The new range is called KRONOS and it builds on the abilities of the existing Epoch range, which supports 4K up to 60 frames per second.   

KRONOS adds workflow support for resolutions up to 8K, frame rates up to 120 frames per second, HDR and Video over IP.

Rather than being a single card, KRONOS is actually a family of products. KRONOS ēlektron has eight high density BNC connectors, each configurable for SD/HD/3G SDI. Each connector is bi-directional, which means that the card can be set up for any combination of inputs and outputs.

KRONOS optikós has an open I/O architecture with three SFP+ cages and two BNC connectors. The SFP+ cages will support greater than 3G SDI and IP over 10Gb Ethernet.

Connectivity to the host computer with all KRONOS cards is via a 3rd Generation PCIe interface for extremely fast duplex DMA.

Key Takeaways

We think the KRONOS range is an important generational step, for several reasons:

First, very fast connectivity. This is essential to support the extremely high resolutions that are about to become commonplace.

Second, very flexible I/O, not only through conventional BNC connectors, but via SFP+ cages, which are, effectively, upgradable hardware. You'll be able to add virtually any kind of connectivity through these I/O components.

Third, KRONOS has been built with the future of video connectivity in mind and that future will be built on IP. The KRONOS range will be able to interface at very high speed with IP networks. This opens up a huge range of possibilities.

Within TV production facilities, software running on PCs hosting a KRONOS card will be able to 'talk' to other network-attached devices, effectively virtualising input and output, all at the highest quality and resolution. Beyond this, new options open up around digital signage and large event screens. There are applications for sports production as well: it's much easier to use an existing high speed IP network than to cable up a stadium or sports arena using SDI. [Note that we understand that not all of this functionality will be turned on initially, but will be rolled out over a period of time.]

It's good to see companies like BlueFish444 moving beyond the PC and into the wider world of video over IP. Essentially, this looks to us more like a platform than a simple release of an I/O card. And that means that the functionality of the KRONOS products will grow over time.

That's exactly what we need in this time of exponential change.

Here's a list of features for the KRONOS range:

SD SMPTE295M    
HD 1.5G SMPTE292M    
3G (A+B) SMPTE424M
ASI
4:2:2:4 / 4:4:4:4 SDI
Single Link / Dual Link / Quad Link interfaces
12/10-bit SDI
Full 4K frame buffer
3Gbps Bypass Relays
12-bit video processing pipeline
4 x 4 x 32bit Matrix
MR2 Routing resources
Hardware Keyer (2K/HD)
Customizable and flexible pixel formats
AES Audio Input / AES Audio Output
LTC I / O
RS422
Bi/Tri-level Genlock Input & Crosslocking
Genlock loop through
VANC complete access
HANC Embedded Audio/Payload ID/Custom Packets/RP188
MSA and Non-MSA compatible SFP+
SMPTE 2022-6

Find out more from www.bluefish444.com.


David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

Twitter Feed